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Appetizers, Sides

Grilled onigiri with soy mirin sauce

Grilled onigiri with soy mirin sauce
Glenn Koenig / Los Angeles Times

When I was growing up in Tokyo in the '60s, we had bento day at school once a week. This meant Mother had to get up early and fix lunch for her five children. We were proud of her bento, ... Read more

Total time: 30 minutes | Each sauce recipe makes enough for 4 onigiri

Soy mirin sauce

  • 1/4 cup soy sauce (koikuchi style)
  • 2 teaspoons mirin

Step 1In a small bowl, whisk together the soy sauce and mirin.

Grilled onigiri assembly

  • 4 onigiri, without nori wrapping
  • Olive, sesame or chili oil
  • Soy mirin sauce

Step 1Brush the onigiri with a little oil to prevent it from sticking to the grill. If you use a spicy oil like chili oil, it will give the onigiri heat.

Step 2Heat a grill pan or grill over medium-high heat until hot, or heat the broiler. Line the grill pan, grill or a baking sheet (if using the broiler) with foil. Grill the onigiri on both sides until crisp and slightly toasted; this can take from 5 to 10 minutes on each side depending on the heat and cooking method. While grilling, baste the onigiri with a little of the sauce on each side a few times until it is absorbed and becomes crisp; the onigiri should not be moist from basting when done. Watch carefully, as the onigiri can burn.

Step 3Serve immediately while the onigiri are piping hot.


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